The Iglu Guide | Blog

The best in meditation and mindfulness apps

If there’s one certainty in today’s world, it’s that we can all benefit from developing strategies to calm our thoughts and mind. Instead of feeling worried and stressed about what the future holds, let’s focus on being present in the here and now.

Easier said than done, right? Just thinking about meditating and mindfulness can leave us feeling a little bit anxious. What does it actually mean? How do you even do it? And where can you find out about it? Here’s your questions answered.

Why bother?

Well known for reducing and relieving classic stress symptoms, mindfulness and meditation practises are responsible for all those happy chemicals that zip around your body afterwards helping you feel positive, secure and content. Not only do they help relieve tension, they contribute to your overall wellbeing and general health. It’s easy to put this type of activity in the ‘too-hard’ basket, because the truth is it does require some self-directed action. But if you’re someone who gets stressed and worried about study deadlines, group assignments, or social situations, mindfulness and meditation could be just what you need to reset your balance and restore your self-confidence.

How does it all work?

Compare the light and shade in a piece of music or a speech. With music, the quieter parts have as much significance and meaning as the louder sections. In a great speech, the silence in between words can make the message more powerful. We can apply the same thought process to mindfulness and meditation. Mindfulness reminds us to pay closer attention to the space we have around us, and the breaths that we take in between. It’s about noticing – but not judging – our thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Meditation is a way of clearing your mind and reaching a heightened level of awareness. They complement each other well and have countless added benefits.

Embrace the process

The first challenge is to wash away those negative vibes – the little ‘I haven’t got time for this’ thoughts. You don’t have to burn incense or listen to Enya to benefit from the process, just focus on using meditation and mindfulness to switch off from the stresses of today and help prepare yourself for what may come tomorrow.

Choose an app

The number of apps on offer is indicative of how popular this activity truly is. Think about what style suits you best, whether it’s something simple like the soothing sound of a particular voice, or simply the practice itself. Here’s our top picks to get you started.

Smiling Mind: Perfect for calm-seekers of every level, Smiling Mind is all about finding time to acknowledge the space in our day. With easy-to-follow guided sessions you can customise your experience and check in on how you are tracking at any time. Intent on making mindfulness accessible to all, Smiling Mind is unique in that every program is absolutely free.

Calm: Take a deep breath, because this is the self-proclaimed number one app for sleep, meditation and relaxation. Offering guided mediation programs, breathing practices and sleep stories, Calm is easy to navigate and personalises the programs to suit you. There is a limited version of the app available free of charge. To access the full version, you can opt into a free 7-day trial, after which a subscription fee applies.

Headspace: Headspace has a great offering for beginners which is absolutely free of charge. With hints and tips on how to focus your wandering mind, the app is perfect for those just starting out in this space. You can customise the experience around the length of time you want to spend online as well as pick between meditation, sleep aids and full body stretching.

Anxiety Solution: The perfect companion app to Headspace, this app focuses on giving you the tools to deal with the symptoms of anxiety in whatever form it takes. Using quick and easy practices from mindfulness and sleep tools to breathing exercises and fitness routines, this is a winning combination for beginners and experts alike.

Balance: A personal meditation coach handily tucked into your phone. Simply tell your online friend how you are feeling each day and the experience you are after – and Balance will do the rest. The more information you share, the more personalised your experience. Great for those wanting to take a first look, there is a free 10-day plan available to all.

Aura: Promising peace and wellbeing, Aura has a huge rage of material available from meditation tracks and life coaching through to music and stories. Targeting those who struggle to sit still for long periods of time, Aura provides the perfect solution with the shorter 3-minute options a popular choice.

MyLife Meditation: This clever app takes all the information you give to explain how you are feeling and converts it into guided meditation recommendations. Ranging from short and sweet to the more lengthy and intense sessions, MyLife intuitively understands what you are needing right there in that moment. With over 400 activities on offer including journaling, yoga and breathing exercises, you can mix up your experience and track your progress along the way.


Photo by Siddharth Bhogra on Unsplash

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